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House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was wineries.

Topics

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, every trade deal that the government has signed has actually cost Canadian jobs, and that is why we have opposed them.

Platitudes are not enough. Canadians who rely on cross-border trade need assurances that this deal will actually reduce border wait times. The Detroit-Windsor crossing is where nearly half of Canada's trade with the United States takes place every day. We cannot afford to leave our communities waiting.

Does the government have any facts to back up its estimates of reduced border wait times? Will it tell Canadians? Why will the minister not stand up for Canadians in Washington like New Democrats do?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, clearly the member and the NDP still do not get it. The Canada-U.S. trade relationship is an example of how partners can benefit from opening their borders to trade. It is the world's greatest free trade success story.

One in five Canadian jobs is dependent on trade. That is why we are ensuring enhanced access to the United States, our largest and most important trading partner. It is shameful that the NDP sends MPs to Washington not to promote our great country but to shut down Canadian exports and shut down Canadian jobs.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in light of the judge's decision in Manitoba with respect to the Wheat Board, in which it states clearly the minister will be held accountable for his disregard for the rule of law, I wonder if the government can give us at least the assurance that the legislation will not be proceeded with as long as this matter is in front of the courts and as long as this judgment stands.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are disappointed with the ruling that came down today. We are as disappointed as western farmers are that they are not going to be able to, right away, get the freedom to market their products as growers in eastern Canada get to do. We will be appealing this decision and, of course, we will abide by the laws.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure. We will have to see what that means.

The legislation is now in front of Parliament. I want to have a categorical assurance from the minister that she will simply say that the legislation will not be proceeded with as long as this matter is in front of the courts and as long as we have a judgment that says that the Minister of Agriculture, who is now chatting with the minister, has had a disregard for the rule of law in the way in which he has tried to implement this legislation.

Could we at least have that assurance from the minister?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we have made it very clear that we disagree with the ruling and that is why we are going to be appealing it on behalf of Canadian farmers in the west.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not receive an answer to the question, but I would like to ask another question of the government with respect to the events in Attawapiskat.

The Indian Act is a colonial relic. It has been in place for decades. It gives extraordinary powers to the minister and to the crown with respect to people who are described in the act as “Indians”. It stretches all the way from wills to the care of children, to defining this and that. It is an absolutely anachronistic piece of legislation.

I would like to ask the government, is it or is it not going to have the courage to put the question of the future of the Indian Act firmly in discussions and negotiations that are supposed to take place in January?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is January. Right now we are focusing on Attawapiskat. We are not trying to score cheap political points, as the Liberals are.

In fact, we have been working around the clock to develop a plan that will ensure that the residents there, children in particular, have a warm and dry place to sleep. The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs will be presenting that plan this afternoon. We encourage the band council to work with us on this. It needs to be part of the solution.

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has refused to take responsibility. He refuses to apologize or step down. He does nothing but make up new stories.

Will he at least answer Canadians' questions, when they know that he used search and rescue services a number of times? Will he tell us how much this little taxi helicopter expedition cost the taxpayers, who are being asked to tighten their belts?

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, one more time and as has been said many times before, the minister was called back from a personal vacation to go to work.

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is too bad we did not hear from the minister himself. I guess he is being airlifted to safety again.

Colonel Ploughman was pretty clear. Using search and rescue resources to get airlifted from a vacation was not about helping the Canadian Forces.

As for his decision to hop in a basket to get to London for a press conference on a new military contract, I have a few questions.

When exactly was this contract signed, when was the minister told, and when did he decide to travel to London?

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat one more time. As has been said many times before, the minister was called back from a personal vacation to go to work.

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked yesterday about recordings that mentioned strong-arming, intimidation and financial kickbacks for political appointments for the Port of Montreal, the Minister of Transport said the person was not appointed, end of story. By this logic, does the minister believe that a robber who tries to hold up a bank but fails has committed no crime?

If Conservative insiders were plotting to install someone as head of the port authority, why would the minister say nothing wrong happened just because they failed?

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the chair of the Port of Montreal is appointed by the board of directors. The board of directors named a person, who was not Mr. Abdallah, as I said before.

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is avoiding dealing with the scandal of political appointments by stating that the board of directors made the decision. The problem is that the Prime Minister's former director of communications, Dimitri Soudas, acknowledged that he had indicated the government preferred Mr. Abdallah for the Montreal Port Authority. Canadians have the right to know what role the government played in the appointments to the Montreal Port Authority.

When will the Prime Minister answer?

Port of MontrealOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the board of directors of the Montreal Port Authority appoints the head of the Montreal Port Authority. At the time it was a man and now it is a woman. Mr. Abdallah was mentioned in the past but was not appointed chair of the board of directors. The board of directors assumed its responsibilities and made its choice.

President of the Treasury BoardOral Questions

December 7th, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is just another way of avoiding answering questions.

Conservatives deal with many scandals by denying the facts and hoping everyone will just forget. For example, the President of the Treasury Board testified at committee that the G8 port project was removed at the request of the municipality, but we have evidence this is simply not true. It was the Muskoka minister himself who had the project removed from the list.

Could he explain why he came to the committee and then misrepresented such a basic fact?

President of the Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I can inform the House this is week two now where the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay has not apologized to me after it was ruled by the Speaker that there were absolutely no facts to his accusations that I doctored Hansard.

In answer to the question, however, the hon. member should know that he is mixing up the facts yet again. The facts are that all of those documents were provided to the Auditor General and I answered all the questions at committee.

President of the Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, just because the minister is wearing a Christmas tie, that does not mean that he could play Santa Claus in his riding with $50 million of taxpayers' money. The minister said that the city decided to remove the project. The same city sent two emails indicating that it was the minister who advised it to remove the project. Those are the facts.

Why did the President of the Treasury Board testify in committee if he was going to say things that he knew were false? He has lost all credibility. He no longer has the moral authority to make $4 billion in cuts to our public services. How can Canadians still trust him?

President of the Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is once again mixing up facts, just as opposition members did at committee. I answered questions for two hours at committee. In fact, I answered 75 questions in total at two committee hearings. This matter, along with G8 and G20, has been at committee for 41 hours.

The Government of Canada has complied with all questions and has delivered all documents. Members opposite are making mountains out of molehills, just as they did at the very beginning of this exercise.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, temperatures are continuing to drop in Attawapiskat and I am receiving messages from people who say there is a need for clean water, baby supplies, and heating for the people in the tents. We have Red Cross on the ground and provincial emergency teams are on the ground. Moving supplies up the coast, however, will create a major logistical effort and sending in a bean-counter just will not cut it.

The community has asked for the help of Canada's military to help coordinate supplies to get them up the coast. Will the government accept this request, so that the people of Attawapiskat may yet have a merry Christmas?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, unlike the NDP, we are focused on the residents of Attawapiskat and not on scoring political points. We have been working around the clock on a plan to ensure residents, especially children, have warm and dry places to sleep. We have a plan. We are still committed to working with the band council and we urge it to be part of the solution going forward.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, sending an accountant to deal with a humanitarian crisis is a sad testament to this minister's inability to respond to emergencies. Far too many first nations communities are on the brink of crisis. In addition to the daily struggle of providing basic services that most of us take for granted, many are left stranded in the wake of spills and floods.

When will the minister finally deliver a credible emergency response plan that ensures no first nations are left abandoned in a moment of crisis?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, first nations communities develop emergency management plans. We have two Cree communities in Quebec that invoked their emergency management plan two days ago. They have taken care of their people. We were in constant contact and we are monitoring the situation. They do not need our help because the leadership of those communities is looking after its people and doing the right thing.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain NDP Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the emergency situation in Attawapiskat is far from an isolated incident. Hundreds of other aboriginal communities in Canada are having the same problems. A total of 80% of reserves in Canada have problems with drinking water. In Quebec, a quarter of the communities are financially suffocating and falling into poverty.

This government has turned its back on aboriginal people. Does the United Nations have to intervene in order for the government to take an interest in them?